Dream day of the year—a visit to the set where the Monkees film their television show.
Passes to the Monkee set are about as rare as the copies of the original cover on the Beatles’ “Yesterday and Today” album, but following much carrying on and general making a nusiance [sic] of myself, I found myself faced with the prospect of having one whole day to myself on ye old Monkee set.
I prayed that on that day there would not be an earthquake, tornado or typhoon on stage seven and that I would not contract polio, mononucliosis [sic], leprosy or beriberi before my great appointment. (I mean, who cares about afterwards.)
Somehow I managed to survive the time between the time the set day was set and the day the set day arrived.
After completly [sic] redesigning my wardrobe in order to find something appropriate to wear for such a momentous occasion (now think about that for a minute—what would you wear if you knew for sure you were about to meet all four of them?) I presented my shaking self to the eight-foot-four guard at the gate (well, maybe he only looks that tall, afterall he does stand between the Monkees and the world) I proudly announced that Carol Flip from Deck had arrived for a Monkee on the day set.
After he picked himself off the floor of his silly little guard booth, where he had collapsed in hysterical laughter, he pawed about in a bunch of official looking goodies and, after what seemed like four or five thousand years, produced my Monkee set pass.
Stumbling off at my usual speed, sometimes termed a mad rush, I of course didn’t get his directions as to where I was going.
Twenty minutes later, following side trips through numerous deserted back lots, I found myself back at the silly guard booth and secured the directions again.
Here goes, I thought, and scurried down a short alley to stage seven, where I came to a screeching halt in front of a second eight-foot-four guard.
Pounding him severely on the nose with my precious set pass, I convinced him to open the door leading to never-neverland, oops, sorry about that, I mean the Monkee set.
Composing myself (who am I kidding?) I stepped inside and ran smack into Peter Tork and it was all over, for me, not Peter, he continued on his way without even realizing he had just taken 40 years off my life.
Pulling said self back in the direction of together, I stood stock still and looked about. Gronk, this is it, my numbed mind numbled.
What my eyes finally focused on was the set, today arranged to resemble a gambling casino. Extras in cocktail dresses, minks, black suits and ties, mulled about amongst numerous people I labeled in my mind as technicians, you know, guys that move props, arrange lights, check the sound or just sit around looking important.
Feeling terribly excited, but small and unimportant, I looked about for a familiar face, but none appeared. In the direction that Peter had disappeared stood only a man dressed as a dealer.
Finally FLIP’s outasight photographer appeared and we strolled across the set trying to look the part of reporter and photographer, just as the extras were trying to look the part of gambling patrons.
It was like a big party, with each of us playing a part.
Just as I had begun to feel comfortable the director yelled “Where’s Micky? Let’s get going. Dress rehearsal everyone” and completely blew my cool.
Onto the set strolled Micky, calm as any human being, living, breathing, thinking, feeling.
Eyeing the blonde he was to do the scene with, he stepped up his pace and placed himself where the director pointed, next to the blonde. At that point I decided she’d be pretty easy to hate.
By this point I had the situation completely under control. I had procured one of those neat lawn type chairs with names painted on the back that they give to everybody of any importance (mine happen to belong to the head prop man, a very nice man who took pity on me and offered his chair).
It was a rather high chair and from my vantage point I had clear view of four other lawn type chairs, clearly marked “Davy,” “Micky,” “Peter” and “Mike,” as well as the door from which Micky had materialized, the hall down which Peter had disappeared and the entire set.
Feeling secure in my own ingenuity, I settle back to watch Micky repeat a scene with the blonde for the fourth time.
Yes, she definitely would be easy to hate. There she sat at Micky’s feet, oohing and ahhing over the money gushing forth from a phony slot machine.
There he stood looking down at her with his beautiful whatever-color-they-are-eyes (you can’t really expect me to remember such minor details at such a major moment, can you?).
So enthralled was I at him looking at her and her looking at the money (fool that she was) that I failed to notice (fool that I am) Mike striding into the midst of the set.
I nearly fell of my lawn chair when his masterful Texas type voice boomed out “Micky, you promised you wouldn’t do any more gambling.”
“No,” yelled the director, “Micky’s hands should be lower down in camera range. We can’t see his hands.”
Well now, I could see his hands perfectly and thought they were beautiful, but that shows how important I was around there.
When they finally got Micky’s hands in the right place and got the scene shot to perfection, the most marvelous thing happened. The director called for all four of them for the next shot.
My toes curled up at the thought of all four of them—Davy, Micky, Peter, Mike—in living persons right before my own pale hazel eyes not more than yards from the end of my curling toes.
Ooh, you’ll have to excuse me now while I contain myself enough to tell you what happened next. See you next issue, if I live that long.